In-Home Dementia Care Service
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Does my loved one have Dementia?
You find that mom or dad are losing their keys more and more often. Tasks that once seemed like a piece of cake are now feeling laborious and confusing for them. You surf the web looking for answers and end up getting lost in a sea of confusion yourself.
Are they ok? Should you be worried?
These are all too familiar questions for those of us with ageing parents and family members. And the biggest one we often find ourselves asking ourselves and one another is: is it Dementia?
Even when we think we’re observing subtle and sometimes more obvious changes in our loved ones’ behavior, personality and sense of wellbeing, it’s not always as easy to decipher exactly what is happening within each individual or how to accurately diagnose each specific situation. Is it normal aging and an average amount of forgetfulness due to an extra stressful or busy day that week? Or is the condition actually Dementia and require more attention and an action plan ASAP?
At Nurse Next Door, we strive to support you as much as possible by providing you with top-notch care as well as relevant information on the aging process and access to medical experts. It’s our number one goal to help you reach the best decisions for yourself and your family at the right time when it comes to caring for your loved ones and better understanding their different chapters of life.
What is Dementia?
We’re all familiar with the term Dementia but what exactly is it and how can we navigate this ambiguous condition to the best of our ability when we do realize it’s beginning to affect someone we love?
In order for you, your friends and family members to experience happier aging, the first step is to grasp a firm understanding of what Dementia is and isn’t. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia does not refer to any one specific disease. It’s more of an umbrella term that is used to describe a broad range of symptoms associated with decline in memory or additional cognitive skills that are severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of Dementia cases while Vascular Dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common type of Dementia.
Even though Dementia usually does involve memory loss, memory loss alone does not mean you or your loved one has Dementia. According to medical experts, the symptoms of Dementia can vary greatly; however typically two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired in order for a person’s condition to be considered as Dementia:
- Communication and language
- Ability to focus and pay attention
- Reasoning and judgment
- Visual perception
Findings developed by the Mayo Clinic say that if someone you care about is displaying the following cognitive and psychological signs, then Dementia is most likely happening:
- Memory loss, often detected by a spouse, close friend or family member
- Difficulty communicating or finding the right words
- Difficulty reasoning or problem-solving
- Difficulty handling complex tasks
- Difficulty with planning and organizing
- Difficulty with coordination and motor functions
- Confusion and disorientation
- Personality changes
- Inappropriate behavior
Regardless of how old we are, we are all forgetful from time to time. But as we age, our risk of being affected by dementia increases. According to research, by the time we turn 85 years old, nearly 35-percent of people in our age group will be afflicted with Dementia and experience the gradual decline of memory loss and mental skills.
How can we best care for our loved one with Dementia?
Alzheimer’ Association states that more than 15 million people in the United States are caring for someone with Dementia. Taking care of someone you love can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, but it can also be a daunting, emotionally draining and mentally challenging responsibility.
As Dementia starts to progress, it may become increasingly difficult to navigate the terrain of feeling like you’re losing the family member you once knew. As a caregiver, friend or family member, you may get frustrated with the fact that your loved one is finding it harder to communicate.
He or she may lose the ability to recognize family members’ names and faces. Equally as challenging, as Dementia begins to affect your loved one in the later stages, you will see them begin to lose their independence and become more reliant on you. This is the hardest part for both you and the person you care for.
Here are 10 tips taken from Alzheimer.net to help you navigate Dementia with your loved one in the best way possible:
- Be educated about the disease. Learning as much as possible about the progression of Dementia can help you better understand and empathize with your loved one’s situation.
- Be realistic in your expectations for yourself and your loved one. Set realistic goals and learn to expect the unexpected. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations as your loved one struggles with Dementia.
- Develop predictable routines and schedules. As Dementia progresses, it is more important than ever to have set routines and a schedule. This can help to eliminate confusion and frustration for both you and your loved one.
- Don’t argue with your loved one. Arguing with your loved one about a forgotten memory will only upset them and further frustrate you. Be willing to let most things go.
- Don’t underestimate the power of good nutrition. Studies have linked Dementia to lifestyle choices, including poor nutrition. Limiting refined sugars and increasing vegetables can help improve your loved one’s mental and physical health.
- Help them maintain their independence whenever possible. As tempting as it may be to do everything for your loved one, it is very important for them to do as many things as possible by himself or herself, even if you need to start the activity. Supporting them in maintaining their sense of self and dignity is of utmost importance for their mental psyche and wellbeing.
- Maintain and keep visible a current list of medications and dosages of medications. This will ensure you always know when their next dose of medication will be and you will be able to accurately share any medication information with doctors or other caregivers who come into your home.
- Accept support when friends and family members offer it. After everything you have done to support your loved one with Dementia, don’t forget that you need support for yourself as well. Rely on family members and other loved ones when you need them and explore respite care options such as the ones provided by Nurse Next Door.
- Take care of yourself. To avoid burnout, be sure to take care of yourself. Take a time-out. Keep doing the things you still love doing and remember it’s ok and healthy to prioritize yourself every now and again.
- Have fun! Your loved needs to and should still continue to have fun and so should you. Make the most out of a tough situation. Go to the museum. Have a picnic in the park on a sunny day. Go see a movie or check-out some live music. Enjoy every minute you have with your loved in the best way possible.
As you read this, research is being conducted to further unveil the many facets and unknowns of the confounding condition we call Dementia, from its causes to its potential cures.
In the meantime, take comfort in knowing that there are numerous resources available to you in your community, at your local healthcare facility and here at Nurse Next Door to help you and your family manage the challenging circumstances of Dementia in the most informed and compassionate way.
Nurse Next Door provides specialized Dementia care. Our priority is senior clients’ safety and allowing them to receive care in a familiar setting—their own home. Learn more about our dedicated Dementia care services below.
How we provide dementia care
Getting diagnosed with dementia can be a challenging time for those who are going through the disease and their family members. Nurse Next Door focuses on the dignity of everyone involved by helping them continue their daily routines and what makes them happy, despite their cognitive decline.
Offering dementia care at home
Our dementia care is offered at home so individuals can remain in a place with familiar settings and surroundings. This lowers the risk of wandering and confusion.
3 hours, up to 24 hours of care
Dementia home care services can range from three hours a day to twenty-four care depending on the progression of the illness.
Consistent, Compatible Caregivers
When pairing our clients with caregivers, we strive for two things: consistency in care and compatibility. We believe these are the two crucial elements to ensuring care is delivered with the client at the center of the equation.
Relieving Family Members
At Nurse Next Door, our goal is to create a dementia care plan that relieves stress and provides support so that peace of mind is achieved. Our trained caregivers are experts at empathetic care and educating loved ones about what to expect with dementia care and the advancement of the illness.
The Caring Journal
The Caring Journal is full of informative resources, client stories and offers a viewfinder into the wonderful world of senior home care. Read the latest blogs here.